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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND (AULT FIELD AND SEAPLANE BASE)
OAK HARBOR, ISLAND COUNTY, WASHINGTON


ATSDR AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT PROCESS AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FACILITIES

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is part of the U.S. Public Health Service. ATSDR's mission is to prevent or mitigate adverse human health effects and diminished quality of life resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

The public health assessment is the cornerstone ATSDR uses to address public health issues associated with hazardous waste sites. The document discusses available information about site-related hazardous substances and evaluates whether exposure to them -- in the past, present, or future -- might cause adverse health effects in members of the community.

ATSDR is responsible for preparing public health assessments according to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) section 104 (i)(6) (42 U.S.C. 9604 (i)(6). As mandated by that law, ATSDR conducts public health assessments of hazardous waste sites listed or proposed for listing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL). ATSDR also responds to requests (petitions) to conduct public health assessments.

Three primary sources of information are used in a public health assessment: environmental data, community health concerns, and health outcome data. ATSDR does not routinely perform environmental sampling. The environmental data used in public health assessments are provided by the Department of Defense (DOD) component involved; EPA, state, and local environmental and health agencies; and other groups or individuals. In addition, ATSDR health assessors conduct site visits to observe firsthand current conditions at the site, land use, public accessibility, and demographic characteristics of the nearby community.

Concerns the community has about health are gathered to determine if specific health effects are being experienced by people who live or work near the site. Information from the public also helps ATSDR determine how people may have been or might be exposed to hazardous substances in the environment. Throughout the public health assessment process, ATSDR staff members talk with people living or working at or near the site about their site-related health concerns. Other sources of community health concerns are records from the installation's Public Affairs Office, EPA's Community Relations representative, and state and local health and environmental agencies.

Health outcome databases document health effects that occur in populations. Those data, which come from sources such as state tumor registry databases, birth defects databases, vital statistics records, or other records, may provide information about the general health of the community living near a site. Other more specific records, such as hospital and medical records and records from site-specific health studies, may be used.Demographic data that provide information on population characteristics (e.g., age, sex, socioeconomic status) are used when analyzing health outcome data.

ATSDR identifies actual and perceived site-related health effects and the level of public health hazard posed by the site. ATSDR then makes recommendations to the appropriate DOD components, EPA, and relevant state and local agencies on preventing or alleviating human exposures to site-related contaminants. When indicated, ATSDR identifies a need for any follow-up health activities -- such as epidemiologic studies, registries or community health education. Finally, ATSDR provides a mechanism to re-evaluate health issues as site conditions change (e.g., after site remediation or changes in land use) or when new data or information are available.

A public health action plan (PHAP) is included in the public health assessment. It contains a description of actions ATSDR and other parties will take at and in the vicinity of the site. The purpose of the PHAP is to provide a plan of action for preventing and mitigating adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. ATSDR annually monitors the implementation of the plan. Public health actions may include, but are not limited to, restricting site access, sampling, surveillance, registries, health studies, environmental health education, and applied substance-specific research.

Public health assessments are distributed in three phases: an initial release (red cover), a public comment release (brown cover), and a final release (blue cover). The initial release document, which is prepared as part of the process of gathering, analyzing, and drawing conclusions and recommendations from the vast amount of information evaluated in a public health assessment, is provided for review and comment to the DOD component involved, EPA, and state and local environmental and health agencies. This release gives agencies the opportunity to comment on the completeness of information they have provided and the clarity of the presentation. The initial release comment period lasts 45 days. Following the initial release, ATSDR prepares the document for distribution to the general public. The public is notified of the document's availability at repositories (e.g., libraries, city hall) in the site area through advertisements and public notices in newspapers. The comment period lasts 30 days. ATSDR addresses all public comments and revises or appends the document as appropriate. The final public health assessment is then released; that document includes written responses to all public comments.

A public health assessment is an ongoing process. ATSDR revises final documents if new information about the environment, community health concerns, and health outcome data becomes available and is found to modify previous conclusions and recommendations. For more information about the ATSDR public health assessment process and related programs please write to:

Director,
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
1600 Clifton Road (E-32)
Atlanta, Georgia 30333


SUMMARY

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NAS) is an active U.S. Navy installation 3 miles from thenorthern end of Whidbey Island. NAS is near Oak Harbor, Island County, in the state ofWashington. NAS consists of four facilities, Ault Field, Seaplane Base, Outlying Landing Field atCoupeville, and Lake Hancock Target Range. Both Ault Field and Seaplane Base are listed on theNational Priorities List and are the principal areas under investigation.

The Navy commissioned NAS as a base for seaplane patrol operations, rocket firing training,torpedo overhaul, and personnel training. The current mission is to operate and maintain Navyaircraft and aviation facilities and provide associated support activities.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) prepared two preliminary healthassessments for NAS Whidbey Island-Seaplane Base in January 19, 1989 and for NAS WhidbeyIsland-Ault Field in March 15, 1989. The Seaplane Base Preliminary Health Assessment indicatedthat contamination in shellfish was a public health concern for people who ate shellfish. However,current information at ATSDR shows that the organic forms of arsenic found in shellfish arenon-toxic. Arsenobetaine and arsenocholine are the principal organic arsenic compounds containedin the flesh of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. Therefore, arsenic (organic forms) at the earlierreported concentration of 2.7 mg/kg is not at a level of health concern. The Ault Field PreliminaryHealth Assessment indicated that contamination in groundwater, food chain, soil, sediment, surfacewater, and ambient air was a public health concern. Both assessments recommended additionalenvironmental characterization and sampling of on- and off-site areas. This public health assessment covers both Ault Field and Seaplane Base.

The Navy's environmental sampling of waste materials, soil and sediment, soil gas, groundwater,surface water, ambient air, and marine biota at various areas on NAS shows contamination in allmedia. Contaminants detected include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organiccompounds, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, and polycyclic aromatichydrocarbons. Groundwater contamination occurs from various sources; however, only monitoringwells are currently affected. On- and off-site drinking water sources are currently not affected, butthe investigation to determine the extent of contamination is not complete.

ATSDR has classified the multiple potential sources of contamination at NAS Whidbey Island asindeterminate public health hazards. That category is used to designate sites with incompleteinformation. The data do not indicate that people are being or have been exposed to levels ofcontamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects, however, data are notavailable for all environmental media to which people may be exposed.

ATSDR revises Department of Defense public health assessments if new information about theenvironment, community health concerns, and health outcome data becomes available and is foundto modify previous conclusions and recommendations. After review of the new data for NASWhidbey, several changes have been made to the public health assessment since the public commentrelease (e.g., Pathways Section (text and tables), Public Health Implications Section, Conclusions,Recommendations, and the Public Health Action Plan).

Groundwater is contaminated with VOCs and metals at concentrations exceeding levels that couldpotentially cause adverse health effects. At OU1 Area 6, a contamination plume has migrated in thedirection of off-base private and public drinking water sources. The plume may have moved off siteto the west of Area 6 as shown by off-site monitoring well data. As part of the site remediation plan,the Navy began connecting the homes and other sites served by wells to the NAS or the city of OakHarbor's water supply system. If the Navy's plan is successful, it is unlikely that people will drinkcontaminated groundwater. Monitoring of wells is taking place according to the RI/FS schedule. Washington State regulations prohibit construction of wells within 1 mile of landfills.

Several classes of chemical compounds such as metals, pesticides, and PCBs used or disposed atNAS can bioaccumulate or bioconcentrate in the food chain. Contamination of the terrestrial andaquatic food chain is possible. Limited sampling information available to ATSDR shows thatshellfish in Crescent Harbor and Oak Harbor are contaminated with heavy metals. However,exposures may be eliminated in Crescent Harbor because shellfishing is restricted from the seaplaneramps near the Navy Exchange due to coliform counts that exceed water quality criteria. The areaincludes 1,200 feet east of Area 49 along the harbor and 100 feet east and west of a tidal creek(surface and seawater outflow). According to the Navy, the posted signs reading "Contaminatedshellfish" will be kept in place because of ATSDR's concerns with site contaminants possiblycontaminating aquatic food chain entities. Additionally, ATSDR evaluated supplementary shellfishsample analyses for areas under investigation and determined that people (e.g., such as Asians, whomay have a higher consumption rate and may consume up to 381 grams/day) would not be exposedto levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects.

Community concerns were expressed about potential health hazards from contaminants at NAS andcity of Oak Harbor landfills. The Island County Health Department expressed a concern about thepotential health effects for Asians who gather and eat seaweed from Crescent Harbor. Samplingdata were not available for ATSDR to decide if seaweed was a source of human exposure.

Contaminants in soil, sediment, water, and air exposure pathways may be a health hazard if long-term exposure occurs. Current land use activities are not likely to result in long-term exposures, butland use changes at the areas under investigation should be evaluated.

The data and information developed in the NAS public health assessment were evaluated by theATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for follow-up health actions. HARP hasdetermined that based on the evaluation of available data and on current site conditions at the NAS,public health actions are not indicated at this time. Further sampling and analysis is needed toevaluate if people are exposed to contaminants from NAS. As more data become available, ATSDRwill evaluate the data to determine if public health actions are indicated for the community near thesite.

The public health action plan (PHAP) is included in this document. The actions include interimremedial measures by the Navy at OU1, Area 6, to minimize any further migration of contaminationin groundwater. The major components of the Navy's interim remedial action are extraction ofcontaminated groundwater in the shallow aquifer under Area 6, treatment of the extracted water bymetal precipitation, and air stripping of VOCs. The Navy plan also includes fencing, groundwatermonitoring, capping the landfill, institutional controls to prevent potable well drilling near the site, surface water control, and landfill gas management.


BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NAS) is an active U.S. Navy installation 3 miles from thenorthern end of Whidbey Island. NAS is near Oak Harbor, Island County, Washington (Appendix A, Figure 1). Whidbey Island is at the northern end of Puget Sound, about 65 miles north of Seattle. NAS consists of four major facilities, Ault Field, Seaplane Base, Outlying Landing Field atCoupeville, and Lake Hancock Target Range. Ault Field and Seaplane Base border the city of Oak Harbor to the north (Ault Field) and east (Seaplane Base).

The Navy commissioned NAS in September 1942 as a base for seaplane patrol operations, rocketfiring training, torpedo overhaul, and personnel training. The past and present waste-generatingactivities at NAS Whidbey Island are aircraft and vehicle maintenance and washing, engine testing,parts cleaning, painting and paint stripping, battery maintenance, pest control, public worksmaintenance, and servicing of electrical transformers. The current mission is to operate andmaintain Navy aircraft and aviation facilities and provide associated support activities. NAS Whidbey Island is the base of all Navy electronic warfare squadrons flying the EA-6B"Prowler", a carrier-based tactical jamming aircraft. It is the west coast training and operationcenter for the A-6 "Intruder" attack bomber squadrons. NAS is the center of activity for Naval andMarine Air Reserve training activities in the Northwest United States.

Table 1.

Dates of Investigations and Significant Events
9/84 Initial Assessment Study (IAS) - Ault Field and Seaplane Base
9/85 EPA nominated Ault Field and Seaplane Base for inclusion on the NPL
1/88 Current Situation Report (CSR) - Ault Field and Seaplane Base.
3/88 The Navy includes 44 areas in NAS Whidbey Island Installation Restoration Program
2/90 NAS Whidbey Island, Ault Field and Seaplane Base, officially listed on the EPA NPL
9/90 Federal Facilities Agreement for NAS Whidbey Island signed.

Table 1 lists the investigations and significant events at NAS. The Navy Assessment and Control ofInstallation Pollutants Program started an Initial Assessment Study (IAS) identified and evaluatedwaste disposal or spill sites on Ault Field and Seaplane Base (1). The Installation RestorationProgram completed the IAS in September 1984. The IAS was primarily a records search, whichidentified and evaluated waste disposal or spill sites on Ault Field and Seaplane Base.

The Current Situation Report, completed in January 1988, presented the results of field studies ofwater, soil, marine animals, and marine sediments at selected locations on and off Ault Field andSeaplane Base (2). During that time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scored the sitesusing the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). The HRS produces a numerical score based on a site'sproximity to water sources, types of pollutants, potential pathways, and potential threat to the publicand environment. EPA places sites with high scores on its National Priorities List (NPL).

In September 1985, EPA nominated 28 sites on Ault Field and Seaplane Base for inclusion on theNPL. EPA made the nominations based on its HRS. EPA bases the HRS score on the number ofknown or suspected waste disposal and spill sites, the types and quantities of hazardous constituents,and the potential for impact to domestic wells and marine shellfish beds by contaminants withpossible origins on NAS.

In March 1988, it was decided that 44 potentially contaminated sites at NAS would be included in aRemedial Investigation (RI). The RI included the 28 areas evaluated by EPA in the HRS, areasrecommended during previous studies, and additional areas believed by the Navy to needinvestigation.(3)

Ault Field and Seaplane Base were officially listed on the EPA NPL in February 1990. EPA, theNavy, and the state of Washington completed a Federal Facilities Agreement for NAS onSeptember 17, 1990. The Navy agreed to conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study(RI/FS) to decide the nature and extent of contamination on NAS, to evaluate alternatives for thecleanup of contaminated areas, and to implement the cleanup of areas as required by EPA (4). Theareas investigated include landfills, underground storage tanks (UST), spill areas, electricaltransformer service areas, fire schools, spill drainage areas, and several storage and disposal areas.

In addition, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980(CERCLA) authorizes the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to conductpublic health assessments to evaluate the public health impact of the sites. ATSDR will evaluatewhether health effects are possible and recommend actions to reduce or prevent possible healtheffects.

ATSDR prepared two preliminary health assessments for NAS Whidbey Island-Seaplane Base(January 19, 1989) and for NAS Whidbey Island-Ault Field (March 15, 1989) (Appendix C). TheSeaplane Base Preliminary Health Assessment indicated that contamination in surface water andshellfish was a public health concern. However, current information at ATSDR shows that theorganic forms of arsenic found in shellfish are non-toxic. Arsenobetaine and arsenocholine are theprincipal organic arsenic compounds contained in the flesh of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. Therefore, arsenic (organic forms) was not at a level of health concern. The Ault Field PreliminaryHealth Assessment indicated that contamination in groundwater, food chain, soil, sediment, surfacewater, and ambient air was a public health concern. Both assessments recommended additionalenvironmental characterization and sampling of on- and off-site areas. The Ault Field PreliminaryHealth Assessment recommended sampling of on-base wells and off-site wells near Area 6, Landfill. The Navy implemented several of the recommendations, as discussed in the following paragraphs.

Of the 53 areas identified in the IAS, only 47 are undergoing RI/FS investigation. Those 47 areasare divided into Operable Units (OUs) and the Hazardous Waste Evaluation Study (HWES). Theother areas were petroleum areas and were eliminated from the RI/FS. The Navy will conduct an RIfor each OU. Following numeric order, the OU1 RI will be carried out first. The RI will furthercharacterize the extent of contamination at each site, and the Feasibility Study (FS) will evaluatedifferent alternatives for cleaning up the sites. Seaplane Base is a separate site on the NPL, but willbe discussed with Ault Field in a single public health assessment. Seaplane Base is OU4 in NASRI/FS documents. All OUs are currently at some phase of remedial investigation. The followingsections provide a general description of each OU. A description of each area can be found inAppendix B.

Operable Unit 1 (OU1)

OU1 is in the southeastern corner of Ault Field and consists of Area 5, the Highway 20/HoffmanRoad Landfill and Area 6, Landfill (Figure 2 and 3 in Appendix A, Table 2). Both areas served asmain facility landfills, are close to each other, and are above the same aquifer recharge area. Landfill activities at Area 6 were discontinued on April 6, 1993; only the animal remains trench isused (5). The former disposal areas identified at Area 6 are the base solid disposal trench, asbestostrench, wood pile (periodically burned), rubble pit, and rubble/gravel piles (6). Table 3 and tables inAppendix B list several past and current Navy, state, county, and EPA investigations that occurred OU1 (6). Groundwater is not used in OU1.

Table 2.

Operable Unit 1, Areas Under Investigation
Area Activities Potential Hazardous Substances Present
5 - Highway 20/ Hoffman Road Landfill. Main facility landfill, 1958-1959 Solvents, paints, caustic cleaning compounds, fuels, oils, asbestos, metals, garbage, demolition debris
6 - Landfill. Main facility landfill, 1969-present Solvents, paints, thinners, strippers, hydraulic fluid, waste oils, waste fuels, drummed liquid waste, garbage, demolition debris

During the site visit, the Navy, state, and county officials explained that the flow of groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Area 6 in OU1 was in the direction of existing off-site private drinking water wells. The VOC plumes appear to extend off site to the southwest about 250 feet from the western border of Area 6 and NAS and south to the border of Area 6 and Oak Harbor landfills. In June 1992, the Navy offered municipal water connections to property owners whose drinking water wells were potentially affected by the Area 6 groundwater contamination plume (7). Those homes were connected to the NAS or the city of Oak Harbor's water system.

Table 3.

Operable Unit 1, Investigations and Actions
10/88 Washington Department of Health (WDOH) sampled drinking several water wells within one mile of Ault Field Operable Unit (OU) 1
3/89 Accelerated Initial Investigation (AII) - OU1, Area 6, the Landfill.
11/89 WDOH sampled several drinking water wells within one mile of Ault Field OU1.
6/90 Interim Action (IA) sampling at OU1
10/90 Technical Memorandum described the results of the AII at OU1
12/90 NAS listed on the NPL
1/91 OU1, RI, Phase I sampling
5/91 Rapid Response sampling at OU1
5/91 WDOH sampled several drinking water wells within one mile of Ault Field OU1.
9/91 OU1, RI, Phase II sampling
4/92 Record of Decision (ROD) for Interim Action at OU1, Area 6
6/92 Draft Final RI/FS report for OU1
6/92 Draft Feasibility Study for OU1
3/93 WDOH sampled several drinking water wells and on-site monitoring wells near Ault Field OU1.
6/93 Final RI/FS published

The Navy, EPA, and Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) signed a Record of Decision(ROD) in April 1992, in which the Navy agreed to conduct an Interim Remedial Action at Area 6. The major components of the Interim Remedial Action are extraction of the groundwater in theshallow aquifer under Area 6 to minimize the spread of the contamination plume, treatment of theextracted water by metal precipitation, and air stripping of VOCs.

The Draft Feasibility Study (FS) proposes remedial actions including fencing, groundwatermonitoring, groundwater extraction, air stripping, reinjection, capping the landfill, institutionalcontrols to prevent potable well drilling near the site, surface water control, and landfill gasmanagement.

Operable Unit 2 (OU2)

OU2 (Appendix A, Figure 2 and 4) is in the southwestern part of Ault Field and consists of Area 2(Western Highlands Landfill), Area 3 (1969-1970 Landfill), Area 4 (Walker Barn Storage Area),Area 14 (Pesticide Rinsate Disposal Area), and Area 29 (Clover Valley Road Fire School). Thoseareas are in the same watershed (42) and could contaminate OU3 via surface water flowing in thedirection of OU3. Areas 2 and 3 reportedly received similar types of wastes. Areas 4, 14, and 29have potential for similar types of chemical contamination. Table 4 lists the types of wastes and dates of operation.

The Navy is conducting an RI/FS for OU2 to characterize the extent of contamination and the potential for migration of any detected contaminants. The Navy will use the RI/FS results to develop remedial action alternatives. During the site visit in 1991, ATSDR personnel observed a fence around Area 4. The Navy fenced Area 14 in 1992 to restrict access after preliminary sampling data showed Area 14 surface soil had pesticides at levels above comparison values. The Navy fenced Area 29 in 1992, because it detected elevated lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons levels in surface soil. People picnic, jog, walk dogs, and ride motorcycles on paths that encircle Area 4 (8). Area 14 is next to an active grounds equipment maintenance facility, Building 2555. Area 29 is next to a golf course and is near several paths and roads that are used for jogging (9). Most of the areas are sparsely covered with grass and vegetation. Trails and off-pavement roads are made of dirt or gravel. Groundwater is not used in OU2, however, Base Well #4 is near Area 14.

Table 4.

Operable Unit 2, Areas Under Investigation
Area Activities Potential Hazardous Substances Present
2 - Western Highland Landfill. Main base landfill, 1959-1969 Solvents, paints, thinners, caustic cleaning compounds, oils, grease, fuels, asbestos, garbage, demolition debris
3 - 1969-1970 Landfill. Main facility landfill, 1969-1970 Solvents, paints, thinners, caustic cleaning compounds, oils, grease, fuels, asbestos, garbage, demolition debris, and 15,000 gallons of drummed oily liquids
4 - Walker Barn Storage Area Storage of out-of-service transformers, before circa 1972? PCBs, dioxins. Area of known PCB contamination fenced
14 - Pesticide Rinsate Area Dry well for disposal of pesticide rinsate, 1973-1983; area below well is defoliated Pesticides, herbicides, dioxins, insecticides in dilute quantities
29 - Clover Valley Road Fire School Fire training area, 1951-1966; 40' x 40' pit Fuel oil, jet fuel, AVGAS (a fuel), Stoddard solvent, carbon-removing compound, trichloroethylene, trichloroethane, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), paint thinners, PCBs, dioxins

Operable Unit 3 (OU3)

OU3 encompasses the runways in northern Ault Field and consists of Area 16, the Runway Ditches, and Area 31, the Runway Fire School (Appendix A, Figure 5). Areas 16 and 31 are next to each other and contaminants in Area 31 flow into Area 16. Table 5 lists the types of wastes and dates of operation. Water from the runway ditches flows off base (10), through agricultural fields about 2 miles to the east of the runways and Ault Field, and into a lagoon next to Dugualla Bay. The lagoon is connected to Dugualla Bay by a tide gate that allows flow in both directions; the Navy can also pump lagoon water into Dugualla Bay. Runway areas are restricted except for authorized personnel.

The OU3 RI/FS objectives are to characterize the site by conducting field sampling investigations and field and laboratory analyses, define the nature and extent of contamination, and refine remedial action goals. Field work for the RI/FS for OU3 is under way. Groundwater is not in use in OU3. There are private residences along the fenced NAS boundary to the north and south of OU3. During the site visit, ATSDR observed a mobile home off site, about 400 feet northeast of Area 31 on De Graff Road. Off-site wetlands lie north of the east end of the runway.

Table 5.

Operable Unit 3, Areas Under Investigation
Area Activities Potential Hazardous Substances Present
16 - Runway Ditches Runway drainages receive runoff and spills from aircraft operations and maintenance areas Fuels, oils, solvents, JP-5 (jet fuel), caustic rinsate from metal cleaning, Stoddard solvent, carbon-cleaning compound, paint spray booth wastes, ethylene glycol
31 - Runway Fire School Fire training area, 1967-1980 Fuel oil, jet fuel, AVGAS, Stoddard solvent, carbon-cleaning compound, trichloroethylene, trichloroethane, MEK, paint thinners, PCBs, dioxins

Operable Unit 4 (OU4)

OU4 consists of the Seaplane Base areas (Appendix A, Figure 6), Area 39 (Auto Repair and PaintShop), Area 41 (Buildings 25 and 26 Disposal Area), Area 44 (Seaplane Base Nose Hangar), Area48 (Seaplane Base Salvage Yard), and Area 49 (Seaplane Base Landfill) (Table 6).

Table 6.

Operable Unit 4, Areas Under Investigation
Area Activities Potential Hazardous Substances Present
39 - Auto Repair and Paint Shop Automotive repair, body and paint shop since 1960 or earlier; radiator boil-out tank Caustic cleaning compounds, anti-freeze, waste paints, waste oils
41 - Buildings 25 and 26 Disposal Area Building were paint shops in 1940 and 1950; wastes disposed on rip-rap at shoreline. Building 25 used for pesticide rinsing in 1962 Waste paint, thinners, solvents, pesticides
44 - Seaplane Base Nose Hangar Service and maintenance of seaplanes, 1940s-1950; demolished Oils, fuels, solvents
48 - Seaplane Base Salvage Yard Used from 1940 to early 1970 for scrap metal and flammable material storage. Fire in 1965 or 1966. Fuels, solvents, thinners, paints, dioxins
49 - Seaplane Base Landfill Industrial/municipal landfill for Seaplane Base, 1945-1955. No records. Burning dump Solvents, paints, thinners, oils, fuels possible, dioxins

Area 39, 41, and 44 are in an area of low surface elevation between Oak Harbor and Crescent Harbor and primarily involve petroleum, solvent, paint, and pesticide spills. Area 48 and 49 are close to each other in the west central part of Seaplane Base and close to Crescent Harbor. Crescent Harbor is a recreational shellfishing area. The Asian population collects seaweed for consumption from Crescent Harbor east of Area 48 and Area 49 (11). Groundwater is not in use in OU4. Area 41 is next to a parcel of land that is to be transferred to the Opportunity Council of Oak Harbor under provisions of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. sec. 11411 (12).

Other Seaplane Base areas, are to be investigated in the Hazardous Waste Evaluation Studydiscussed below. Those are Area 35 (Fuel Farm 2), Area 36 (Fuel Farm 1), Area 40 (SeaplaneBase Coal Pile), Area 45 (TCE tank), and Area 53 (Polnell Point). Those areas are shown on Figures 6 and 8 in Appendix A.

During the site visit, ATSDR observed that the field between Areas 39, 40, and 41 is flat, grass covered, and contains a playground that is within 300 feet of Area 39, Area 40, and Area 41. ATSDR staff did not see any children at the playground, and the playground is not next to any residential areas. The NAS Wildlife Biologist said that he had never seen any children at the playground. He said the playground was part of the old base exchange complex that has been moved. Some bare spots at Area 40 expose the remains of the old coal pile (13). Most of Area 44 is within a fenced recreational vehicle storage yard (14).

Operable Unit 5 (OU5)

OU5 is proposed by the Navy to consist of Area 1, Beach Landfill, and Area 52, Jet Engine TestCell. These areas are next to each other and are in western Ault Field next to the Strait of Juan deFuca (Appendix A, Figure 7) Table 7 lists the dates of operation and suspected wastes for theseareas. Because of the potential for Area 1 contaminants to reach the Strait of Juan de Fuca, theNavy said that Area 1 should be investigated under CERCLA as part of an existing OU or as aseparate OU (13). The Navy investigated Area 1 during the Current Situation Report andHazardous Waste Evaluation Study (discussed below). Area 1 used to be a small marsh; however,the marsh was used as a landfill. Area 1 is no longer an active landfill. A small wetland remains. Two burn pits are within the area, one in the north and one in the southern part of the area. Thebeach face of the landfill has eroded, exposing timbers, metal, and concrete. During the site visit,ATSDR observed that access to the beach areas and Area 1 is not restricted. Human activity nearArea 1 includes Area 52 to the north, Norwester Club to the southeast, vehicular traffic and joggerson Saratoga Street, a parking area on the former landfill, and recreational activities along the beach(13).

Table 7.

Operable Unit 5, Areas Under Investigation
Area Activities Potential Hazardous Substances Present
1 - Beach landfill Main base landfill, 1945-1958; burn pits were used to destroy flammables Solvents, paints, caustic cleaning compounds, oils, fuels, asbestos, metals, garbage, demolition debris
52 - Jet Engine Test Cell Active site. Jet fuel storage tank leak Fuel, solvents

The Navy added Area 52 to the IR investigations because the groundwater sampling and analysesdetected the presence of vinyl chloride. During geotechnical explorations for an additional test cellat Area 52, the Navy encountered free-phase jet fuel on the water table (3). In 1988 and 1989, theNavy conducted site characterizations to evaluate the groundwater below Area 52 as part of theNavy's petroleum underground storage tank (UST) program. The site characterizations determinedthe magnitude and extent of free-phase jet fuel contamination, characterized the contaminants ingroundwater and soil, and assessed the risk to the environment. The project was undergoinginvestigation under UST, not CERCLA, until the vinyl chloride was discovered. The area wastransferred to RI/FS due to the vinyl chloride. Based on the site characterization results, the Navyproposed a limited remedial action to remove the free-phase product, and a confirmatory analysis ofgroundwater samples after completion of the remedial action. Groundwater is not in use in OU5. Both Area 1 and Area 52 are next to the beach on the west side of Ault Field.

Hazardous Waste Evaluation Study (HWES)

EPA, Washington Department of Ecology, and the Navy agreed that 26 areas not included in the OUs were to be removed from the RI/FS process and would be studied in a Hazardous Waste Evaluation Study (3). The Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) requested including Area 53, Polnell Point, in the investigation (15). Tables 8 and 30 lists those areas, and Figure 8 in Appendix A shows their locations. The areas under investigation in the HWES include past spills of fuel, oil, solvents, and pesticides, and fire schools. Areas in the Ault Field Central Core (Appendix A, Figure 9) could impact Base Well No. 4. The Ault Field Central Core contains the active military industrial area of NAS; primarily aircraft maintenance facilities, training, administrative, and occupational areas. Within the Central Core are non-industrial facilities; a fast food restaurant, a small base exchange, unaccompanied officer housing, and base theater.

The objective of the HWES is to decide if contamination is present within the Ault Field CentralCore Area and areas on Ault Field and Seaplane Base that are not part of an Operable Unit. Ifcontamination is confirmed, additional Operable Units will be created (13). Table 30 in AppendixB has brief descriptions of each area. It was decided that none of the areas in the HWES present animminent threat to human health or the environment, but determined that several areas neededadditional characterization (13) (Table 8). Some areas are listed more than once, because the Navywill perform removal actions and additional investigations at those areas.

HWES areas requiring limited remedial action for cleanup followed by confirmatory analysis. This group includes fuel farm areas on Ault Field and on Seaplane Base listed in Table 8. Fuelspills occurred in each of these areas. Tank bottom sludges were disposed of in dry wells near eachtank until 1980. Dry wells are gravel-filled holes in the ground; some are concrete pipes buriedvertically in the ground. The Navy proposes to remove the dry wells to eliminate a potential conduitfor contamination to reach subsurface soils and groundwater. The Navy also proposes a limitedremedial action to remove floating product on the groundwater at Area 13. The floating productcomes from a 1955 AVGAS spill that flooded the base theater parking lot and basement.

HWES areas requiring additional investigation for area characterization and for potentialcontamination. These areas require additional investigation for further site characterization andadditional natural metals background information. This group includes areas on Ault Field and on Seaplane Base (Table 8, Figure 8 in Appendix A).

Table 8.

Hazardous Waste Evaluation Study Areas Under Investigation
Area Activities Potential Hazardous Substances Present
Areas, determined by the Navy, requiring limited remedial action for cleanup followed by confirmatory analysis
11 - Fuel Farm 4 Fuel farm in operation since early 1950s. Tank bottom sludge disposed of in dry wells near each tank till 1980. AVGAS, JP-5, MOGAS (automotive fuel), diesel fuel
13 - Fuel Farm 3 Fuel farm in operation since early 1940s. Dry wells next to each tank used for tank bottom sludge disposal till 1980 AVGAS, JP-5, lube oil
15 - PD-680 Spill Area Area used for disposal of weapons cleaning solvents, torpedo repair, 1974-1982. Active weapons storage area. Estimated 150 gallons PD-680 (a solvent) and bore cleaner disposed, Otto (torpedo) fuel
20 - Ault Field Sewage Clarifier. 1940s-1955 In the Ault Field Central Core area. Located on northeast side of Bldg 2547. The old treatment plan was demolished and buried in 1971. Concern about solvents in sludge and migration from Area 18 and 19.
35 - Fuel Farm 2, Seaplane Base Fuel farm since 1940s. Dry wells used for tank bottom disposal until 1980 JP-5, AVGAS
36 - Fuel Farm 1, Seaplane Base Fuel farm since 1940s; nine tanks. Dry wells used for tank bottom disposal Diesel, No. 1 heating oil, contaminated fuel and oil, AVGAS
45 - TCE Tank, Seaplane Base Reported 500-gallon underground tank abandoned but not pumped out, 1942-? Trichloroethylene
53 - Polnell Point Ordnance Burn Area, Seaplane Base. Early 1950s-? Historically, three metal bins were used for burning ordnance Ordnance compounds
Areas, determined by the Navy, requiring additional investigation for area characterization and for potential contamination
7 - Old waste Storage Tank Spills Five aboveground tanks; spills have occurred Waste caustic spill, waste carbon-removing compound (55% methylene chloride, 33% cresols); other unknown wastes
10 - Building 2536 PCP Dip Tank Wooden post treating site from 1970-1980 Pentachlorophenol, dioxins
11 - Fuel Farm 4 Fuel farm in operation since early 1950s. Tank bottom sludge disposed of in dry wells near each tank till 1980. AVGAS, JP-5, MOGAS, diesel fuel
13 - Fuel Farm 3 Fuel farm in operation since early 1940s. Dry wells next to each tank used for tank bottom sludge disposal till 1980 AVGAS, JP-5, lube oil
18 - Ault Field Nose Hangars Servicing and maintaining P2 aircraft from 1950s to mid-1960s Fuel and solvents, including AVGAS, JP-5, MEK
22 - Hangar 5 Drum storage area, 30 x 40 feet, used early 1960s-1981; leakage reported Paint remover, solvents, alodine, MEK, PD-680, TURCO, kerosene, toluene, paints, lacquers
28 - Chapel Fire School Fire training area from 1940s-1951 Waste fuels, oils, solvents, thinners, flammable liquids, PCBs, dioxins
35 - Fuel Farm 2, Seaplane Base Fuel farm since 1940s. Dry wells used for tank bottom disposal until 1980 JP-5, AVGAS
36 - Fuel Farm 1, Seaplane Base Fuel farm since 1940s; nine tanks. Dry wells used for tank bottom disposal Diesel, No. 1 heating oil, contaminated fuel and oil, AVGAS

It was determined that 13 HWES areas required no further action, because they found nocontamination, or the detected concentrations of chemicals at those areas were not above regulatorylevels (Appendix B, Table 30).

B. Site Visit

During June 18-21, 1991, ATSDR visited NAS Whidbey Island, Ault Field, and Seaplane Base. The ATSDR Regional Representative from EPA Region X, met them at NAS. The team met withEPA, Navy, state health, and county health personnel involved with the sites.

Activities such as farming, cattle and livestock grazing, archery, hunting, and other outdooractivities are taking place near areas under investigation. The Navy did not post warning signs atmost of the areas being investigated, and military personnel and dependents could enter some areas. According to the Wildlife Biologist, NAS Environmental Affairs Office, some off-site agriculturalareas receive runoff from areas under investigation.

ATSDR also visited the current fire school, which is about 1000 feet southwest of Area 4 in OU2. There are buildings on site that are occupied during duty hours. According to the Wildlife Biologist,an oil/water separator had overflowed. The ATSDR team saw an area of dead grass downstream ofthe oil/water separator, and noted that the air smelled like fuel or petroleum products. ATSDR laterlearned that the fire school was investigated in Phase 2 of the RI for OU2 (42).

The NAS Wildlife Biologist said the Navy would consider restricting farming and grazing onsuspected contaminated fields on the base until sampling data are available. During a site visit fromMay 26-29, 1992, the Navy told ATSDR that the Navy canceled an agricultural lease near Area 15,PD-680 Spill Area. The Navy discovered that dairy cows drank water that flowed from Area 15.

ATSDR incorporated the observations by the site visit team into the appropriate sections of thepublic health assessment.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

Population and housing statistics for NAS Whidbey Island, Ault Field and Seaplane Base, and forcensus areas near Ault Field Operable Units are found in Tables 26 and 27 in Appendix B;population numbers for Island County are included to provide a point of comparison. Figure 16 inAppendix A shows the relationship of the census areas to Ault Field and Seaplane Base.

On Site

There are 7600 military personnel assigned to NAS, and NAS employs 1300 civilian personnel (16). NAS is Island County's largest employer (17). According to the 1990 Census, there were 3876 persons living in the census tract that contains Ault Field. Over 83% are male, which is typical of military installations. Nearly of the population are between the ages of 21 and 34, which is also normal for a military installation. The percentages of children under 10 and persons age 65 and older were well below the county averages. Very few housing units were owner occupied, which reflects the transient nature of military populations. Over 74% of persons in this tract lived in group quarters (e.g., barracks).

The census tract containing the Seaplane Base had a 1990 population of 4861. The populationdensity is over 1000 persons per square mile. Family housing for the base is in this tract, whichlargely explains the extremely high percentage of children under age 10 (over of all persons) andhigh number of persons per household. As with Ault Field, there are very few owner occupiedhousing units in the tract.

Off site

The 1990 population of city of Oak Harbor was 17,176, a 40% increase over the 1980 population. This growth may be a result of retirees settling in the area. The 1990 population was 49.7% maleand 50.3% female. About 84.8% of Oak Harbor residents are white, 4.4% black, 8.5% Asian orPacific Islander, and 2.3% are of other races. About 5.3% of the residents were of Hispanic origin. Because many couples are in their childbearing years (40% of the population are between the agesof 21 and 39), nearly 23% of the population were under age 10. About 7.2% of the population wereage 65 or older.

There were 5971 households in Oak Harbor in 1990, an average of 2.86 persons per household. Only 40% of all households were owner occupied, suggesting a highly transient population(meaning renters usually do not live in one residence for an extended period); this is typical ofcommunities near military bases. The median value of owner occupied homes in 1990 was$86,500, and the median monthly rent paid for those homes is $411.

Block Groups (BGs) 1 and 3 in Census Tract (CT) 9701 cover an area east and north of Ault Field(see Appendix A, Figure 16). These BGs had a combined population of just over 2400. Populationdensity was relatively low at 313 persons per square mile. Nearly 60% of households are owneroccupied, which suggests a stable or nontransient population compared to Seaplane Base and AultField.

Block Group 1 in Census Tract 9704 is southeast of Ault Field and covers an area near the landfill. This area had a 1990 population of 734. The percentage of children was higher than the countyaverage while the percent age 65 and older was lower. Well over 40% of occupied housing unitswere mobile homes, or four times the county average for mobile home occupancy. Just over half ofall households were owner occupied.

Block Group 2 in Census Tract 9704 is south of Ault Field near Operable Unit 2. This BG had atotal population of 1262 in 1990. The percent of persons aged 65 and older was less than half thecounty percentage. Over of all households were owner occupied, and nearly half of all occupiedhousing units were mobile homes.

Land use

On Site

Ault Field (4339 acres) is bordered by Puget Sound to the west and farming and residentialcommunities to the north, east, and south. Ault Field contains two runways, taxiways, hangar andoperations support facilities, family housing, an elementary school, small arms ranges, headquartersfacilities, a golf course, and other recreational facilities. Other facilities at Ault Field include readymagazines, an active landfill, water and sewage treatment facilities, a theater, a library, hobby shops,medical and dental facilities, maintenance shops, a fire station, storage yards, fuel farms, and relatedfacilities. Access to Ault Field is restricted to base personnel, their families and guests, andauthorized visitors and contractors.

At Ault Field OU2, Navy RI contract personnel observed people picnicking, jogging, walking dogs,and riding motorcycles on paths that encircle Area 4 (8). A playground is about 75 feet southeast ofArea 14, south of a drainage ditch that may have contaminants from Area 14. About 1200 feetsouth of the playground is a residential area (8). Area 29 is next to a golf course and is near severalpaths and roads that are used for jogging (8). The skeet range is to the east of Area 29, an archeryclub is to the northwest, and the 16th tee of the golf course is to the south.

The current fire school, which is about 1000 feet southwest of Area 4 in OU2, is not currently underinvestigation. ATSDR noted that the base hospital and bachelor officer quarters are about 2000-3000 feet northeast of the area.

Seaplane Base (2688 acres) is 1.5 miles south of Ault Field and is at the eastern edge of the city of Oak Harbor. Principal activities at Seaplane Base are support facilities, Commissary and Exchange, maintenance shops, and family housing units. There are two schools, a child development center, a park, and playgrounds on Seaplane Base (18). The Seaplane Base wastewater stabilization lagoons and wastewater treatment plant are 1000 feet north of Areas 48 and 49. Shellfish are recreationally harvested along the Crescent Harbor shores of Seaplane Base. The Navy transferred three parcels of land on Seaplane Base, totaling about 5.4 acres, to the General Services Administration in May 1992 for excessing to the city of Oak Harbor and other organizations. The Opportunity Council for Oak Harbor may receive one of those parcels under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, for facilities to assist homeless people; that parcel is next to Area 41. The final disposition of the land is unknown at this point in time. The Navy suspects soil at Area 41 is contaminated with pesticides and PCBs.

Off Site

Land is used primarily by tourists for fishing, camping, hunting, golfing, boating, and otherrecreational activities, and agriculture. East of OU1, Area 5, Highway 20/Hoffman Road Landfill,is a concrete plant and a gravel pit; land further east is occupied by woods, residences, a strip mall,and light industry. North of Area 5 is a wooded area, grassland, and the runway approach area. Ault Field Road is to the south.

Land east of OU1, Area 6, Landfill, contains residential lots, a trailer park, light industry, a gravelpit, and undeveloped fields. Oak Harbor Landfill is to the south and southwest of Area 6. The AuldHolland Inn (motel and trailer park) is to the immediate south and southeast of Area 6, and is theclosest occupied building to Area 6. Land west of the area is forested with some open pasture land,several residences, and light industry along Goldie Road (10). During the site visit, ATSDRobserved that the Oak Harbor Children's Center is on Goldie Road about 1800 feet west of theformer hazardous waste storage area in Area 6. Ault Field Road and Area 5 are to the north.

OU4, Seaplane Base, is bordered by residential and farming communities to the north and east, residential areas of the city of Oak Harbor and Oak Harbor to the west, and Crescent Harbor to the south. Agricultural crops grown around NAS include hay, corn, squash, strawberries, and blackberries (19).

Natural Resource Use

Game, game fish, shellfish, groundwater, and surface water are the primary natural resources usednear NAS Whidbey Island.

On site

Hunting is not allowed on Ault Field. Land on Ault Field is leased for growing hay and grain, andlivestock grazing. Seaplane Base is an unrestricted base that is open to the public, except fuel farmsand ordnance areas. Open spaces on Seaplane Base are used as state pheasant release sites.

Off site

Whidbey Island is a popular tourist location serving thousands of campers, boaters, hunters, fishing enthusiasts, and others who seek recreation during the summer months (20).

Woodland brush/grassland areas are habitat for deer, rabbit, red fox, coyote, weasel, and upland game birds. Intertidal zones have assorted organisms including cockleshells, clams, oysters, and geoducks (a type of large clam). Crescent Harbor has 5 miles of shoreline at Seaplane Base. Harvesting marine biota for consumption is reported along Crescent Harbor (21); however, most shellfishing occurs at Forbes Point and Maylor Point (42).

Groundwater use

General

The U.S. Geological Survey identified five aquifers above bedrock in Island County; labeled A through E from bottom to top. The aquifers are made up of sand or sand and gravel with confining layers of till, glaciomarine drift, clay, and silt. The aquifer elevations generally reflect the surface topography. Local perched water zones exist under several areas and probably contribute to the flow of some surface waters on NAS. The perched water zones contribute to some wetland areas. Aquifers C and D supply 90% of Island County's groundwater. During the RI of OU1, the Navy investigated the upper three aquifers; the shallow aquifer (Aquifer E), the intermediate aquifer (Aquifer D), and the deep aquifer (Aquifer C). The shallow aquifer is under Area 6 and is a source of drinking water for property owners near Area 6 who own wells (6). The shallow and intermediate aquifers may connect west of OU1 near Goldie Road (6). The city of Oak Harbor and the NAS Whidbey Island (Ault Field and Seaplane Base) purchase drinking water from the city of Anacortes, north of NAS. The water comes from the Skagit River on the mainland through a pipeline (22).

In April 1982, EPA designated the Whidbey Island aquifer as the sole or principal source of drinking water for Whidbey Island. The Safe Drinking Water Act defines a sole source aquifer as one that supplies drinking water to 50% or more of an area's population "and which if contaminated, would present a significant hazard to public health (23)."

On site

NAS maintains Well No. 4 at Building 284 in the Ault Field Central Core Area and Well No. 5 atBuilding 328 in the family housing area on the northwest side of Seaplane Base as backup supplies(Appendix A, Figure 5) (1). The Navy stopped using the wells because of high naturally occurringiron content (10). Base Well No. 4 intercepts a confined aquifer at 62-94 feet (8). Base Well No. 5intercepts a confined aquifer at 270 feet.

Off site

Oak Harbor supplements about ΒΌ of its water from three city wells in the southwest part of the city. These wells are in the deep aquifer (>200 feet) and produce 120-200 gallons per minute (gpm) (10). About 290 domestic wells serve more than 10,000 residents within 3 miles of Oak Harbor and Area 6 landfills. About 70 private wells are within 1 mile of Area 6; of these wells intercept the shallow and intermediate aquifers and intercept the deep aquifer (10). More than 50% of these wells are south or downgradient of Area 6 (24). About 10,000 people living within a 3-mile radius of Seaplane Base are served by wells.

Surface water use

On site

Several fresh water and salt water wetlands exist on NAS Ault Field and Seaplane Base (AppendixA, Figure 13). There are wetlands within all the OUs on Ault Field and Seaplane Base. Mostwetland areas on Ault Field flow to the east and northeast, including those in OU2, the Central CoreArea, and possibly OU1. Those wetlands may contribute to the flow in the OU3 Area 16 runwayditches.

Off site

Area 16 runway ditches flow off site becoming a stream that ends at a lagoon near Dugualla Bay. The lagoon has no outlet, and the Navy periodically pumps the water from the lagoon to DuguallaBay. Dugualla Bay receives runoff from most of Ault Field including OU2, OU3, and the CentralCore Area (Appendix A, Figure 4 and 5). Water from the stream that flows east from Ault FieldOU3 discharges to Dugualla Bay and may be used by farmers to irrigate crops (10), such as berries,corn, strawberries, and hay (19). During the site visit, ATSDR noted that there was a gravelparking area near the lagoon, but no evidence of fishing or other recreation. The lagoon will besampled during the OU3 RI in 1992. There is a boat ramp in Dugualla Bay, but actual use orfrequency of use is not known. Dugualla Bay provides feeding grounds for migratory waterfowland great blue herons (3). The marina in Oak Harbor and the Navy Marina in Crescent Harbor areused by recreational boaters and fishing enthusiasts.

Crescent Harbor, near Forbes Point (25), is a recreational shellfishing area. The Asian population collects seaweed for consumption from Crescent Harbor. Crescent Harbor also receives an unknown amount of surface water runoff from the east and southeast part of OU1, Area 6, Landfill (6).

Agriculture

Over 750 acres of land at NAS Whidbey Island are leased for growing hay and grain for use aslivestock feed (Appendix A, Figure 13). The agricultural areas are in east Clover Valley and south-central Ault Field. Agricultural areas are in OU2 and OU3. During the second site visit, the NASWildlife Biologist said that one agricultural field is 100 feet northeast of OU2 Area 29.

D. Health Outcome Data

Health outcome databases document health effects that occur in populations. Those data, which come from sources such as state tumor registry databases, birth defects databases, vital statistics records, or other records, may provide information about the general health of the community living near a site. Other more specific records, such as hospital and medical records and records from site-specific health studies, may be used. Demographic data that provide information on population characteristics are used to analyze health outcome data.

The Washington Department of Health maintains a Vital Statistics Department and an Office ofRegistries. The Cancer Surveillance System (CSS) for the state is maintained by the Division ofPublic Health Sciences of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The CSS works undercontract to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program of the National CancerInstitute.

The Vital Statistics Department gathers information on numbers of deaths, births, fetal deaths,marriages, and divorces for the state of Washington. Variables included in this database aregeographic location (city, county, town); age; sex; race; address; cause of death; birthweight;gestational age; and birth defects.

The CSS database is the central repository for all newly diagnosed malignancies (except non-melanotic skin cancers) occurring in residents of thirteen counties of northwest-Washington State. The population covered is almost one million and includes five Standard Metropolitan StatisticalAreas (SMSA), the Seattle-Everett area (King County and Snohomish Counties), Tacoma (PierceCounty), Kitsap, Thurston, and Whatcom counties. The population-based cancer surveillancesystem monitors the incidence and mortality of specific cancers over time. The variables collected inthis database are designed to allow the detection of differential risks of cancer by geographic region,age, race, sex, marital status, social security number, occupation, type of cancer, extent of disease,treatment, hospital identification and other demographic data. This information is available forIsland County since 1974.

The Washington Birth Defects Registry is a registry of children with serious birth defects diagnosed before their first birthdays. The database contains information by major birth defect classifications and by demographic factors: county of residence, sex, race, address, and mother's occupation, smoking history, and age. Data for births occurring in military hospitals are not included because the transitory nature of military personnel (and their families) limits the collection of long-term medical histories at any particular military facility, and that short-term medical histories have normally been excluded from state disease registries because such information would only confound long-term disease statistics (26).

As of August 1991, information was available for the entire state for 1986-1989. Health outcome data will be evaluated in the Public Health Implications section.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Concerns the community has about health are gathered to determine if specific health effects arebeing experienced by people who live or work near the site. Information from the public also helpsATSDR determine how people may have been or might be exposed to hazardous substances in theenvironment.

As part of their Community Relations Plan (CRP), the Navy conducted twenty communityinterviews between January 9 and 25, 1989 including citizens' group members, individuals, localofficials and a few people in outlying areas of Whidbey Island (20). According to the CRP, theconcerns voiced were about the environment. There were no health related concerns.

NAS Public Affairs Office, NAS Environmental Office, NAS Hospital, and Island Countyrepresentatives had not received calls regarding environmental related health complaints.

  1. During the ATSDR site visit, an Island County Health Department representative voiceda concern about the possible health effects of consumption of seaweed by the Asianpopulation who collect seaweed from Crescent Harbor.


  2. A resident voiced a concern of what was thought to be a higher than normal incidence ofcancer among people that lived along a road near the Area 6 landfill and Oak Harborlandfill.

ATSDR held public availability sessions on August 26, 1993 during the Public Comment periodand gathered the following concerns:

  1. A resident voiced a concern about excessive aircraft noise because airplanes fly within 50feet of her house. She stated that the smell of kerosene is overwhelming and had complaintsabout chronic sinus problems that seem to clear up when she leaves the area for any length oftime. She believes that her sinus problems are related to kerosene spills from the jets and isworried about contamination of trees, fruit, vegetables, and wonders about the effects on infants and children.
  2. Another resident complained that there is a lack of noise abatement measures at Whidbey Island.

Community health concerns will be evaluated in the subsequent Community Health Concerns Evaluation Section.



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